Business Card Design: 7 Steps to Creating Your Pocket-Sized Billboard

From networking to advertising and brand recognition, a smart business card design is a tool that creates opportunities.

Business cards remain highly relevant, even in the digital age, and the design possibilities are endless. So, where do you even begin? Here’s our step-by-step guide to business card design:

Step 1: Prep Work

First, you’ll need a finished company logo before you can begin designing your new business card. Established companies typically have this nailed down, but if you are launching a new business, you’ll want to have a designer create a logo for you.

Next, do you know what your brand color scheme is? Those colors will be reflected on your business card.

And finally, know what you want to communicate. You’ll want to think about formal vs. informal. For example, a lawyer’s business card will typically be formal, while a business card for a small shop that sells curiosities can be more fun and relaxed.

Step 2: The Card’s Shape

Here’s a chance to think outside the box. Your business card doesn’t necessarily have to be in the traditional rectangular shape we’re all familiar with.

You can do something as simple as rounding the corners or something more elaborate. 

For example, let’s say you sell a line of unique jellies and jams. Your business card could be in the shape of a jelly jar. 

You can also take advantage of clever cutting methods to create specially designed cut-out shapes for an abstract look and feel.

When experimenting with shapes, just keep in mind that you’ll want to make sure your card is still easy to handle and carry around in a wallet or pocket. 

Step 3: The Card’s Size

The size of your business card can vary, but again, keep in mind that you still want it to be easy to carry. Typically, it’s best to stay close to the standard size of 3.5 x 2 inches.

Step 4: Logo & Graphics

Your logo should capture attention, and you can then add any additional graphics to complement it if you like. 

You can also take advantage of both sides of the card. For example, you could have your logo featured prominently on one side and your contact information with a smaller logo on the other side.

If you have a QR code for smartphones, you can add that as well.

Step 5: Text & Typography

You can add as little or as much text as you like (keeping clutter in mind as you add more). Here is the typical information included on a business card:

  • Your Name
  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • Website URL
  • Social Media Handles
  • Office Address
  • Company Tag Line or Slogan

For typography, your guiding rule will be to make sure all of your text is entirely legible. With that in mind, you can choose from any number of fonts and sizes that fit your brand.

Typically, the text color is a shade of black. If you choose a different color, make sure it is readable.

Step 6: Consider Special Finishes / Advanced Techniques

Special finishes can make a business card pop. Here are a few to consider:

  • Embossing: Three-dimensional appearance
  • Letter Pressing: Resembles an engraving
  • Foil Stamping: Shiny/reflective
  • Spot UV Coating: Smooth texture

And if you really want to get creative you can consider ideas such as:

  • Adding thickness by doubling or tripling the width
  • Using a different material like metal or plastic
  • Creating a transparent card

Step 7: Design Checklist

Once you have your design laid out, step back and answer these questions:

  • Does your design have a good visual flow? What do you notice first? What do you notice last? Do you see what’s most important first?
  • Does your design seem cluttered? Is there too much going on?
  • Can you easily read the text? 
  • Do the colors in the design clash?
  • Are any of the design’s elements too close to the edge?

When we’re talking about the edge of the business card, keep in mind the following:

  • Bleed Area: The outermost part of the business card that is generally removed in the cutting process.
  • Trim Line: Where the cut will be.
  • Safety Line: Cutting isn’t always exact, and the safety line is like a buffer that allows a little extra space to account for that.

The bleed area, trim line, and safety line are areas where you will not want any of your text, logo, or other graphics to appear because you may lose them.

Revisit your design if you need to and make adjustments. Once you’re ready to print your business cards, you can get started here. At Quality Printing, we can also help you polish a design. Get in touch with our expert designers today!

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